Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|50. Preposition + Gerund

Read the rules

If a preposition (in/for/about etc.) is followed by a verb, the verb ends in -ing:


You can also say «instead of somebody doing something», «fed up with people doing something» etc. :

  • I’m fed up with people telling me what to do.

Read the rules

Note the use of the following prepositions + -ing:

Before -ing and after -ing:

1. Before going out, I phoned Sarah. (not Before to go out)

2. What did you do after leaving school?

You can also say «Before I went out …» and «… after you left school».

By -ing (to say how something happens):

1. The burglars got into the house by breaking a window and climbing in.

2. You can improve your English by reading more.

3. She made herself ill by not eating properly.

4. Many accidents are caused by people driving too fast.

Without -ing:

1. We ran ten kilometres without stopping.

2. It was a stupid thing to say. I said it without thinking.

3. She needs to work without people disturbing her. (orwithout being disturbed).

4. I have enough problems of my own without having to worry about yours.

Read the rules

To -ing (look forward to doing something etc.)

To is often part of the infinitive (to do / to see etc.):

1. We decided to go out.

2. Would you like to meet for lunch tomorrow?

But to is also a preposition (like in/for/about/from etc.). For example:

1. We drove from London to Edinburgh.

2. I prefer tea to coffee.

3. Are you looking forward to the weekend?

If a preposition is followed by a verb, the verb ends in -ing:

  • in doing
  • about meeting
  • without stopping (etc.)

So, when to is a preposition and it is followed by a verb, you must say to -ing:

1. I prefer driving to travelling by train. (not to travel)

2. Are you looking forward to going on holiday? (not looking forward to go)

Study this example situation:


Lisa is American, but she lives in Britain. When she first drove a car in Britain, she found it very difficult because she had to drive on the left, not on the right. Driving on the left was strange and difficult for her because:

She wasn’t used to it.

She wasn’t used to driving on the left.

But after a lot of practice, driving on the left became less strange. So:

She got used to driving on the left.

Now it’s no problem for Lisa:

She is used to driving on the left.

Read the rules

Im used to something = it is not new or strange for me:

1. Frank lives alone. He doesn’t mind this because he has lived alone for 15 years. It is not strange for him. He is used to it. He is used to living alone.

2. I bought some new shoes. They felt a bit strange at first because I wasn’t used to them.

3. Our new flat is on a very busy street. I expect we’ll get used to the noise, but at the moment it’s very disturbing.

4. Diane has a new job. She has to get up much earlier now than before — at 6.30. She finds this difficult because she isn’t used to getting up so early.

5. Barbara’s husband is often away from home. She doesn’t mind this. She is used to him being away.

Read the rules

After be/get used you cannot use the infinitive (to do / to drive etc.). We say:

  • She is used to driving on the left. (not She is used to drive)

When we say «I am used to something», to is a preposition, not a part of the infinitive. So we say:

1. Frank is used to living alone. (not Frank is used to live)

2. Lisa had to get used to driving on the left. (not get used to drive)

Read the rules

Do not confuse I am used to doing and I used to do:

I am used to (doing) something = it isn’t strange or new for me:

1. I am used to the weather in this country.

2. I am used to driving on the left because I’ve lived in Britain a long time.

I used to do something = I did it regularly in the past but no longer do it. You can use this only for the past, not for the present.

The structure is «I used to do» (not «I am used to do»):

1. I used to drive to work every day, but these days I usually go by bike.

2. We used to live in a small village, but now we live in London.

Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first



Complete the sentences using by -ing. Use the following (with the verb in the correct form):

borrow too much money, break a window, drive too fast, put some pictures on the walls, stand on a chair, turn a key

For each situation, write a sentence with I’m (not) looking forward to


Read the situations and complete the sentences using used to

Complete the sentences using only one word each time

If you open the lesson plan you will be able to assign separate pages as homework or all the homework pages at once.

Урок Homework Курс
  • Are you interested in...?
  • Prepositions + -ing
  • To -ing
  • She wasn't used to it
  • To do / to drive etc.
  • I am used to doing
  • Complete the second sentence
  • Break a window
  • I'm (not) looking forward to...
  • Used to
  • Complete the sentences
  • Homework